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Tag: faith

Hanging by a…

We al know about the story where one rock climber, in the pitch dark, is super tired and somehow tries to make his way down from the summit. He loses his harness and rope and what not and is hanging on – by a thread literally – for dear life. He prays to God to save him, and momentarily a heavenly voice booms from the skies, “Let go, and you will be fine.” He doesn’t trust the voice of course, and clings on, but by morning he is finished. When others find him, they realize he was dangling just a few feet away from the ground, but he couldn’t see it due to the darkness.

This is a story about the importance of faith. We know this, and its a great lesson.

There are some mountain climbers – and then there are some other mountain climbers who climb vertical rock faces. Like 3000-foot vertical cliffs. Where do they sleep or take a break? By using something called a portaledge. Which is a device apparently made from airline-quality materials, and hangs thousands of feet above the air perpendicular to the rock face. Fancy sleeping in one? Maybe rolling over the side of the bed would take new meaning here.

It is said these are absolutely safe though. And there are so many climbers who get a kick out of exactly this. Personally, this is not for me. Why would anyone do it? I read up a bit, and apparently its because climbers find it relaxing – being secluded up top and the spectacular views of the night sky and surroundings.

Too much effort / faith for this much relaxation?

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E.g.b.u

Life is unpredictable. We know this, but often don’t feel it. As long as nothing happens to us, we seem oblivious to all the goings-on around us. Despite the inevitability of death, we still behave and act as though we have been bestowed with the gift of immortality. Perhaps that’s a good thing too, because just having a fatalistic view of life might mean we might never even get out of bed.

Generally speaking, most outcomes in life can be bucketed into four: expected, good, bad and unexpected. Here’s a simple example. Someone (no, not the chicken!) wants to cross the road.

  1. They can cross the road, as expected.
  2. Or they can cross the road and meet a friend – a good outcome.
  3. They can cross the road and meet someone who they owe money to – a bad outcome.
  4. Or they can cross the road and get hit by a truck – an unexpected outcome.

When we think about this, we will realize that each of the 4 outcomes are probable, and not in our hands. Still, from the time we were born, more often than not, we have either experienced only the expected or the good outcomes. We all have developed an intrinsic implicit faith, that things will happen mostly for the good. As Saint Augustine said, “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”

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Why faith needn’t be about God

When someone is going through a tough time, we tell them “Have faith. All will be well.”

An atheist will consider this to be nonsensical. “There is no God, and therefore I have no faith in Him/Her.”

However, can we re-purpose this faith?

Deep inside us, there is a life force, a spark of consciousness. A spark that differentiates us, from the mere amalgamation of flesh, blood and bone that corpses are. This spark, according to the ancients, is the very essence of life and creation itself. To those who concur, it is also known as God.

If this spark aka Brahman, is the source of all creation, then surely this spark can also create any of the mundane things we run after – wealth, a promotion, a job, a family, a better life? This is also the crux of ‘creative visualisation’ programs.

Our mind currently thinks that everything we want can only be achieved by the body. But this is far from the truth. If this spark is within us, then all we need is to have faith in is in ourselves – the true us, not limited by our bodies.

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The cyclist

The word ‘Peloton’ is probably familiar to exercise enthusiasts, as the company which provides high-tech in-home workout equipment. Late in 2019, the company went public after much hoopla over a pricey multi-billion dollar Initial Public Offering.

The word peloton is also used in professional cycling. It refers to the close-knit formation we see in cycling races. The cyclist in the lead ends up taking the brunt of the wind and air. This helps the cyclists behind him, because the leader cuts the wind drag to them by up to 40%, leading them to conserve significant energy.

Our lives are tough, peppered by all sorts of uncertainties and calamities. Even the spiritual path is fraught with enemies – like our minds – and largely of our own creation.

There is one person in the lead though. Unflinching, he has walked the path and the talk. He has experienced everything there is, and knows all the pitfalls. He is at the head of the peloton, helping us seek and reach the Truth, while conserving our sanity, and shielding us every step of the way.

He is the Guru. The scriptures say, that when the time is right, s/he will enter our lives.

All we need to do, is to follow her/him, with utmost faith.

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Problem Gone?

The plumber came home to fix the leak. “That’ll be $100”. We don’t understand what he does. But we pay him anyway.
Problem Gone.

The technician came home to fix the TV. “That’ll be $200”. We don’t understand what he does. But we pay him anyway.
Problem Gone.

The mechanic came home to fix the car. “That’ll be $500”. We don’t understand what he does. But we pay him anyway.
Problem Gone.

The doctor came home to fix the broken bone. “That’ll be $1000”. We don’t understand what he does. But we pay him anyway.
Problem Gone.

The Guru came home to fix us. “That’ll be free of charge”. We don’t understand what he does. But we doubt him anyway. “Will it work? How can he get rid of all my tensions and stress? Who is he to know my life and give me advice?”
Problem Not Gone.

No Faith = Problem Not Gone.
Faith = Problem Gone.

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